Restive farmers trade positions

One large group of Thessaly cotton farmers called off their roadside protests yesterday as Communist Party (KKE)-affiliated farmers in various parts of mainland Greece launched a new series of transport disruptions with a much broader agenda. The Thessaly farmers, whose union leaders are affiliated with the ruling New Democracy party, decided to drive their tractors home after nearly two weeks of protests – including Friday’s 24-hour block of the Athens-to-Thessaloniki highway – that failed to satisfy their demands. Unionists said they would give the government until late February to announce the final production quota. Protesters were seeking extra crop subsidies, which the government has ruled out. The KKE-affiliated unionists want subsidies for all agricultural produce grown in Greece, as well as guaranteed higher incomes for medium-range farmers. They briefly blocked roads in northern Greece and the Peloponnese yesterday.

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